Can an atheist be heroic? [YOU RESPOND]

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Can an atheist be heroic? [YOU RESPOND]

From: myjesusmysaviormycreator@yahoo.com
Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2008 12:56 PM
Subject: [General Question] Atheism & Heroism

Josh sent a message using the contact form at
http://www.rationalresponders.com/contact.

Can an atheist be a heroic? 

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Hambydammit
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Yes. 

Yes.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Jeffrick
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answer

     

      Yes.

 

      Now can we asked;  is it possible for a religio to be rational   24/7??

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Renee Obsidianwords
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Does a bear crap in the

Does a bear crap in the woods?

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Sure, but they won't get

Sure, but they won't get credit for it from someone of faith - they'll just attribute it to God acting through them.

Tripper


Kevin R Brown
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No. An atheist can be a

No.

 

An atheist can be a 'person', though. 'Heroic', much like the term 'evil', is probably a label we can do without. People do good things, people do bad things. In general, our species tries to do what they think is right (See: altruism). 

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
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Atheists can do anything

Atheists can do anything considered heroic that a theist, fundy, whatever, can do.  We just don't need the threat of eternal damnation to do it.  We do it because it's the right thing to do, not because we want to go to fantasyland someday when we die.  Here's a couple of links might help you understand that heroism exists without an invisible skydaddy, actually, it exists in spite of an invisible skydaddy.

http://atheistsinfoxholes.com/?sec=&PHPSESSID=e13ea67d364c129423ee9a9c91359454

http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/

 

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Joshisinhisworld (not verified)
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 Now, let me ask this

 Now, let me ask this question: What is right about being heroic?   


JillSwift
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An atheist can be more

An atheist can be more heroic than a believer. Why? When an atheist risks their lives for another, they know they are risking it all. They know there is no reward waiting in some afterlife for them.

 

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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Of course. Are religious

Of course. Are religious folk only heroic because they think god is watching?

My wife always says that I am her hero Smiling

Zen-atheist wielding Occam's katana.

Jesus said, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division." - Luke 12:51


thingy
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Renee Obsidianwords

Renee Obsidianwords wrote:

Does a bear crap in the woods?

Just outside of them, actually.


ronin-dog
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Just remembered an

Just remembered an example.

My jujustsu sensei once saved a young teenage girl from being raped, and he definately isn't christian.

Zen-atheist wielding Occam's katana.

Jesus said, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division." - Luke 12:51


nigelTheBold
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Renee Obsidianwords

Renee Obsidianwords wrote:

Does a bear crap in the woods?

Ahem!

Polar bears.


nigelTheBold
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Joshisinhisworld wrote:Now,

Joshisinhisworld wrote:

Now, let me ask this question: What is right about being heroic?   

You have two loaded words here: "right," and "heroic." They may mean different things to you and me.

However, trying to go along with what I think you mean: it is "right" to be heroic (in certain circumstances) because it allows for a better society. The important thing is "in certain circumstances."

Let's look at a couple of instances.

Say there is a platoon out on patrol in a hostile neighbourhood in Iraq. Say the are attacked and separated. All but one are pinned down by gunfire. The one who is not pinned down must traverse open area in which he is exposed to take out the gunner. Or, he can take the safe road back and flee.

In this scenario, it is right for the soldier to take out the gunner, though it places him in danger. Why? Because he might have to depend on another soldier to do the same for him. If he were known to have left the rest of his platoon for dead, others would not be as willing to help him in the future. Finally, these are his comrades, not just his fellow soldiers, but friends.

Next, take the case of a child who falls into a rushing river. A passing teen immediately leaps into the water to rescue the child, though he might fail, and drown himself. Why? Simply because we are trained from birth to respect human life, especially young and innocent life. He could not see himself as the person who would simply allow a child to drown. He would be filled with years of guilt if he were to watch a child drown. So, to save himself from his own guilt, he leaps in and saves the child.

These sorts of scenarios play out all the time. It is "right" to be heroic becase we are wired that way. We protect those in our group, because we are gregarious animals. What's the use of forming groups for mutual protection and social benefit if you don't protect others in the group? It's right because it's part of our social contract.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


Eloise
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Joshisinhisworld

Joshisinhisworld wrote:

 Now, let me ask this question: What is right about being heroic?   

 

Just when I thought the line of questioning couldn't get more random or imperceptible - observe... the follow up !

Ok, Josh, say I humour you. What's right about being heroic? Generally I would say the benefit that a heroic act confers makes it right and the personal expense at which it is provided that makes it heroic. In contrast to imposing a disadvantage upon another in order to obtain benefit heroism befits being considered exceptional, it is noble to act as though not motivated by self interest because this is an exceptional attitude to encounter in the context of frail and vulnerable human life.

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Wasn't Pat Tillman an

Wasn't Pat Tillman an atheist? The right wing pushed the image of his heroism in Afghanistan as a hero, yet I recall reading that he was an avowed atheist.

"Always seek out the truth, but avoid at all costs those that claim to have found it" ANONYMOUS


The Doomed Soul
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pff... heroic... >.> being

pff... heroic... >.>

 

being a villian is much more entertaining!


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I am a career firefighter.

I am a career firefighter. I've seen my share of people in trouble, people suffering and people dying. What I'm about to say on the topic may sound as if I have one foot on each side of the fence, and well, I do.

I don't think it's 'good' or necessary to label people as heroes. However, I think using such terms as noble, heroic, heroism, courageous etc., are quite worthy and relatively accurate when describing specific actions of people (and some animals as well !)

I no more wish people to call me a hero, than I wish them to consider me a role model...but it isn't the worst thing I've been advised about or called, that much is certain.

So while I appreciate and agree with many of the comments made by Eloise and Nigel, I tend to agree more with Kevin R.  I envision a time in our world when most labels disappear,  because the truth is... (and here comes your daily dose of cheesy, sugary sweet sap)... in my humble opinion, to one degree or another and at different times in our lives, we are all heroes. 

Yet strangely, I find there's nothing at all wrong with thinking that none of us ever are. 

 


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